In the moments following their come-from-behind, 21-14 victory at West York Friday night, Dallastown's football players sure didn't look like a bunch celebrating a Week 4 win.
George Christas, the team's senior linebacker, made a beeline from the post-game handshakes to hug Wildcats' coach Kevin Myers. Other players let out celebratory shouts into the warm night.
A pair of Dallastown coaches chest-bumped.
This was a Week 4 win, but it was also more to the Wildcats.
"There's a bull's-eye on our back now," Dallastown coach Kevin Myers said. "And that's not something this program is used to."
The Wildcats painted those
Dallastown (4-0) extended its unbeaten start to the season, and gained a measure of revenge for the 52-7 drubbing it received from West York last September.
"We talked about it all week, about how last year we came in here and West York killed us," Christas said. "We wanted this one. We wanted it and we got it."
The Bulldogs worked one final chance, plodding down field on a 17-play, five-minute drive. But on a fourth-and-2 from the 3-yard line with 25 seconds left, Christas knocked away a slant pass intended for Jerrin Toomey.
After a white-knuckle quarter of football, the Wildcats could finally exhale.
"It's a big deal," Dallastown senior Ben Kline said. "It's hard to put into words what we were all feeling running off."
As Dallastown's players celebrated on one end of the field, the Bulldogs (2-2) were left to lament their missed opportunities. West York controlled the ball for large swaths of the game, running 31 more offensive plays (71 to 40) than the Wildcats.
Problem was, West York didn't take advantage of its scoring chances. On three occasions -- including that final drive -- the Bulldogs drove inside the 10-yard line, only to come away empty-handed. The miscues included a second-quarter, goal-line fumble by tailback Zach Trone (25 rushes, 109 yards, two touchdowns) that Dallastown recovered in the end zone.
Bulldogs coach Ron Miller called the red-zone errors "back-breaking."
Despite all that, West York still led, 14-7, heading into the fourth quarter.
Fittingly it was Kline, the Pittsburgh-bound linebacker, who produced the first embers of a Wildcats' rally when he intercepted Kaden Hepler's pass early in the frame. Kline fumbled during the return, but Dallastown recovered.
"I almost had a heart attack," Kline joked afterward.
Three plays later, Dallastown quarterback Josh Luckenbaugh hit Andrew Heird for a 20-yard touchdown to tie the game.
And after a Bulldogs' three-and-out and a short punt gave Dallastown good field position, the visitors took advantage.
The Wildcats revved into a no-huddle attack and barreled downfield, before Adam Lawicki's 4-yard TD gave them a 21-14 edge with 5:20 to play.
West York once again worked its way into scoring position -- thanks in part to a pair of fourth-down defensive penalties -- but Dallastown got the big stop it needed.
"We came together as a team tonight," Myers said. "We played a complete football game."
Dallastown 0 7 0 14 -- 21
West York 0 7 7 0 -- 14
Dt -- Ryan Behrmann 60 run (Behrmann kick), 10:23
WY -- Zach Trone 2 run (Blake Shaffer kick), 0:14
WY -- Trone 13 run (Shaffer kick), 6:02
Dt -- Andrew Heird 20 pass from Josh Luckenbaugh (Behrmann kick), 7:49
Dt -- Adam Lawicki 4 run (Behrmann kick), 5:20
-- Dt -- WY
First downs -- 10 -- 17
Rushes-yards -- 27-129 -- 41-165
Passing -- 10-13-0 -- 17-31-1
Passing yards -- 91 -- 148
Total yards -- 220 -- 313
Punts -- 5-32.4 -- 3-29.7
Fumbles-lost -- 3-1 -- 1-1
Penalties-yards -- 5-32 -- 6-35
Rushing -- Dallastown, Ryan Behrmann 10-84, Ben Kline 8-31, Adam Lawicki 4-19, Josh Luckenbaugh 5-(-5); West York, Zach Trone 25-109, Kaden Hepler 14-52, Leland Tate 1-5, Brett Campbell 1-(-1).
Passing -- Dallastown, Luckenbaugh 10-13-0-91; West York, Hepler 17-31-1-148.
Receiving -- Dallastown, Kline 3-47, Andrew Heird 2-29, David Naylor 2-11, David Butler 1-10, Josh Chronister 1-4, Behrmann 1-(-1); West York, Campbell 10-70, Jerrin Toomey 4-49, Chantz Ilgenfritz 2-15, Trone 1-14.